Bucks roll to second win of season over Rich, and cross country teams head to state
A week after its first win of the season against Layton Christian, the Monticello Buckaroos (1-7, 1-3) were hopeful that they could prevail in their final regular season in an unusual Thursday night home game against the 2A North Rich Rebels (1-5, 1-2).
With Monticello down several players due to mandatory COVID quarantine orders, the remainder of the team appeared ready to play as the Bucks jumped out to a quick first quarter lead when RB Brevin Olson ripped off a 44 yard TD run with 5:26 to go in the quarter.
After a successful KC Benge Point After Attempt (PAT), the Bucks led 7-0. Monticello scored again just before the end of the first quarter when linebacker Javlin Robinson picked off a Rebel pass and took it to the house from 47-yards out. Again, the Benge PAT was good and Monticello enjoyed a 14-0 lead going into the second quarter.
After a Rich score early in the quarter, Monticello QB Devin Hatch called his own number, and as time expired in the first half, he scampered into the end zone from four-yards out to put Monticello up 20-6. For the second week in a row, the Bucks would take a lead into halftime.
Rich got on the scoreboard again halfway through the third quarter closing the scoring gap to 20-12, but Monticello responded quickly with a score of its own when a hand-off to Brevin Olson paid off with a 34-yard touchdown run.
The Buckaroo two-point conversion attempt was good and the Monticello lead swelled to 28-12. With mere seconds to go in the third quarter Hatch again got the call and took the rush attempt 17 yards to pay dirt to put Monticello up 35-12 after the successful Benge PAT.
In the fourth quarter, Devin Hatch scored his third TD of the game on a nice 14-yard run to extend the Buck lead to 42-12 after a Benge PAT. Rich tacked on a score with 0:27 seconds to go in the game, but when the horn sounded Monticello had its second win in a row and second 2A North win by the score of 42-19.
The Buckaroo win secures a fourth-place finish for Monticello (2-7, 2-3) in the 2A North Division and a berth in the Utah State 2A Football Championships. In the last Utah High School Activities Association ranking of the season, Monticello is ranked eleventh out of 13 2A football teams.
With that ranking, the Bucks will now play the Milford Tigers (4-6, 2-4) on October 23 at 4 p.m. in Milford in the first round of the playoffs. The Tigers are ranked sixth in the final RPI.
Milford placed fourth in the 2A South division and played several opponents that Monticello also faced this season. Milford had wins over Gunnison Valley (34-9) and Millard (27-13), but dropped games with Duchesne (28-14) and Kanab (26-15). Monticello lost all its games with the above teams. Statistically, Milford averages 20.4 points per game and Monticello 11.9 with Milford giving up 22.4 points per game and Monticello 44.1.
With the regular season winding down and COVID taking its toll, on Tuesday, October 13 a depleted Lady Buck team (4-11, 2-7) hopped a bus to face the top ranked North Summit Lady Braves (20-3, 8-0) in Coleville for their last Region 16 match of the regular season.
Monticello, fielding a young team consisting of mainly sophomores and juniors, played hard against the Lady Braves, but North Summit was just too much and pounded the visitors 3-0 with game scores of 25-7, 25-12, and 25-10.
Statistically, Monticello struggled winning only the serve percentage portion of the game out serving North Summit 96.8 percent to 89 percent.
Individually, Jade Nielson, Abbi Christensen, Saydi Young, Saydee Adams and Avery Shumway all had perfect serve percentages with Nielson, Christensen, Young, and Adams all recording an ace in the match. Kylie Rogers led the team in hitting with a +.125 rate.
Defensively, Amy Lewis was the top service returner with a rating of 2.18. Berlynn Black and Kylie Rogers each had a half a block each and Abbi Christensen led the team in digs with 6 followed closely by Saydi Young with 5 digs.
The loss dropped the Lady Bucks to 4-12 overall and 2-8 in Region 16 play finishing the season in a three-way tie for fourth place with Altamont and North Sevier.
With the Region 16 season in the books, the Lady Bucks left the county and traveled to Richfield for a weekend tournament facing mainly southern Utah 1A and 2A teams for some much needed competition and experience.
On Friday, October 16 Monticello beat 1A Bryce Valley 2-0, 1A Green River 2-1, but dropped its match against 1A Piute 2-0.
On Saturday morning, Monticello lost to 2A Beaver 3-0 and 2A Millard 3-0 (25-20, 25-14, 25-9) to finish the weekend 2-3 and improve its record to 6-15 overall.
All the girls can do now is wait for the UHSAA RPI ranking to come out to see who the Lady Bucks will face and where in the opening round of the Utah State 2A Volleyball Championships set to commence on Saturday, October 24.
With region in the books, the Buckaroo cross country teams changed their focus to the State 2A Championships held in Cedar City at Cedar City HS on October 21.
Last season at state, the Monticello boys ran well enough to place third overall and the girls had one of their best recent finishes placing fourth.
Individually, Buckaroos Cory Bunker placed third and Alan Pettit fifth in the boys race at state last year. Adri Bird was the girls race runner-up and Lady Buck Lily Long placed eighth at state last year. Both teams and individual runners hope to improve on those finishes.
The last Monticello team title came in 2018 when the boys won the 1A state championship at Sugarhouse Park in Salt Lake City.
The last title for the girls came in 2000 when they claimed the 2A championship under the coaching of the late Sanford Randall.